gTar, the first midi guitar to utilize and iPhone as a digital sound processing unit, and a personal guitar tutor…
The world of digital midi guitars is a wondrous one. For those unaware of the capabilities of such musical instruments imaging having all the creativity of a traditional guitar, coupled with power of digital sound processing, all in one unit, then you’ll start to get the idea.
Now add lights to the fret board, to help direct your fingers to the correct frets, and you can really picture how digital guitars are the instrument of the future.
If the concept of a digital midi guitar is a news to your ears, don’t worry you’re not alone, they just simply haven’t hit the mainstream yet. But as a Jazz guitarist myself, it’s new to my ears that Incident Technologies new gTar hopes to bring this technology to the masses.
The gTar’s two main selling points – aside from its sleek looks – is that the frets light up to help teach you how to play, and its all powered by the extremely popular iPhone 4G or 4GS.
gTar iPhone Powered Digital Guitar
The sound of strings is actually generated by the iPhone – as opposed to the hollow body of an acoustic, or pickups of an electric guitar, which typically amplify the strings – and its accompanying gTar app. The app features songs that are programed to light up the correct strings and frets on the fretboard in order to effectively teach the user where to position their fingers and which strings to strum. The songs present a range of difficultly levels so users can learn progressively, and a handy little feature called smart play can be enabled to mutes any incorrect notes to steer the user to play the correctly. Smart play can of course, be switched off as and when’s needed.
gTar iPhone Midi Guitar
And since all the sound is processed digitally, the user has access to numerous effects such as distortion, chorus, delay, and reverb directly from the gTar app interface. The traditional sound of the guitar can also be change to synths, choirs, and percussive or orchestral instruments.
The guitar body runs off an internal 5000mAh li-ion battery that lasts between 6 – 8 hours on a single charge. Connections include a USB and 1/4-inch jack line out.
Those interested in the gTar should check out Kickstarter, where you can still bag yourself a pre-ordered with a pledge of $400 – limited $350 early-bird packages have already sold out. The expected retail price will be around $450.
gTar Introduction Video
Although the gTar is marketed as the first guitar anyone can play, it’s not the first time LED lights have been used in fret boards to help train musicians scales and chords, but it is the first to powered solely by an iPhone.
Another great point about the system is that the cost of buying the two devices is actually cheaper than buying a (nice) guitar and doing a similar custom modification, and since the iPhone 4G/S is already a popular phone, many people’s costs are already half paid anyway.